Team Collaboration Plans


The Wall Street Journal refers to the employee performance review as the “Annual Agony.”

Supervisors are placed in the role of “Judge” or “God” and are untrained for either role.

Subordinates (direct reports) liken the experience to sitting with their moms and dads and hearing where they are lacking and being told, “We know what’s best.”

Research among 200 large companies by Psychological Associates, Inc. concluded that more then 90% of appraisal systems are unsuccessful.

So why do we hang onto a process that doesn’t work? Because most employees (80%) perceive themselves as top-notch performers and believe that an evaluation system will recognize this and reward them with pay increases, career advancement, promotions and other perks. They are afraid that eliminating performance appraisals will mean their good efforts will go unnoticed and therefore unrewarded.

So we (corporate America) continue the practice and promote the illusion that the appraisal works and pretend not to notice the harmful side effects.

There is a solution… it’s called a Collaboration Plan©. It consists of written achievement expectations for the direct report including the criteria for excellence. And it also includes, in writing, what the supervisor will do to support the direct report’s efforts. When they come together to review the plan, the focus is on how the collaboration worked and how they can each improve that collaboration.

You may be surprised that the greatest cause of stress among the employees of companies across America is not knowing what their supervisors expect of them. Research done by performance Systems opf Colorado shows this lack of clarity to be at the 89% level. The same study shows inadequate knowledge and skill to be 9 ½%. This latter area garners vast sums of money which I say is hard to justify.

The “Collaboration Plan” addresses this stress issue head-on.

The Collaboration Plan© is the answer to all objections of appraisals that require one employee to judge the performance of another.

It’s the answer you’ve been looking for. If you need further encouragement…

Dr. W. Edwards Deming (father of the Japanese quality movement) says:

  “[The annual review] nourishes short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes teamwork, nourishes rivalry and politics… it leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected, feeling inferior, some even depressed, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior. It is unfair, as it ascribes to the people in a group differences that may be caused totally by the system that they work in.”


See my White Paper for a more complete description.